It has been a while. I apologize.
Back a few months ago my sista Anna had let me know that her and her hubby were planning on going to a concert in Cincinnati, OH in September. She knows that Cinci is a lot closer to me than Cleveland so we were trying to figure out a way to see each other and have some fun without a ton of driving.
It turned out that the Kentucky Bourbon Heritage Festival was going on that same weekend so we decided to meet in Kentucky and go to the fest and a couple distilleries! I was very excited about this because since I moved to Indy I’ve been dying to go to KY to some distilleries. Yay.
Friday September 16, 2016
I make the executive decision that we are not waiting for Anna and Robert to go to Kentucky. They are in Columbus, Ohio and going to have breakfast with Damien and Katie and since I know they are going to be late I decide we are leaving early in the morning.
Saturday September 17, 2016
Jason and I wake up at the crack of overcast and get ready for the drive. We left around 0800 just as it started to rain. It rained the whole entire drive. As a matter of fact it rained the whole entire day…until about 1900!
At 1115 we arrive in Bardstown, KY. Home of the Bourbon Festival (and multiple distilleries.) I park my car, change into shorts because of the rain and make my way to the lawn where the World Champion Barrel Races are going on. I immediately befriend some people that have a little tent and ask if they mind if my buddy Jason and I hang out under their tent for a little bit. They obliged and we stayed relatively dry. After a little bit of talking with these people I realize that this is not just a bourbon fest, it is THE bourbon fest and it is the 25th ANNUAL Bourbon Heritage Festival! Big deal. I also realize that we are hanging out with one of the women that is competing in the 16th annual barrel rolling race! How cool is that? I mean, Kentucky isn’t really all that big but still it was pretty cool. Anna and Robert get there about 2 hours after us and catch the tail end of the races. I bought an official Buffalo Trace Team coat from the nice woman who was in the race.
Up until now, I had been standing in the same spot for two hours. We did not adventure out to see the grounds or any other tents or events. I felt that I needed to stay and watch all of the races, cheer on our new made friend, and take full advantage of the tent while it was there! After the races the tent came down and it was time to wonder around.
1400 was when the auction started. The four of us decided to go in and check it out after getting our first pour of the drink. Well, I went into the auction to check it out and Anna, Robert, and Jason went into the building and walked around and looked at stuff. Bourbon history stuff. I don’t exactly know because i didn’t get the time to.
The auction was interesting. They were selling a lot of antique stuff. Not antique collection bourbon but like one of the auction items was a doctor’s prescription for alcohol from the prohibition. That was pretty cool. Another was an eighty year old bottle someone found that ended up being bought when the seller added a bottle of Pappy to the prize!
I was in and out. I didn’t get what I wanted.
I go grab another drink and find everyone.
We decided to meander around the place and see what is in the tents and drink a bit. I think it was just the second tent we went into (first if you;\’re Anna and don’t count the t-shirt tent) where we lucked upon a nice woman who informed us that we could catch the last Barton’s distillery tour of the day if we walked around the corner to get the shuttle. Sweet! We didn’t think we were going to get to one of those today and it added an extra tour to our trip and my first ever distillery tour. The shuttle = a golf cart. It is not easy to find a shuttle when you do not know you are looking for a golf cart!
This particular tour was not that interesting. I am going to be honest; I am not a big fan of most tours. I do not like walking around listening to someone talk about boring stuff. I could really care less where barley or wheat comes from. If I am not being told something about history or being talked to about something I already know, I’m bored. This was a boring tour (it is also very very possible that I was bored because I was no longer drinking and I wanted to be drinking so I was just not being fun.) We did get to taste the clear alcohol that they put in the barrels though (I forget what it is called…Dog something.) That stuff will not put hair on your chest…it will make your hair fall off! We put our pinky finger in it and licked our finger and were choking on how strong it was. Yikes.
After the tour they gave us a taste of their 1792 bourbon, their cream bourbon, and a chocolate truffle. That was nice.
Back to the BHF! First thing is first; go straight to the place we get drinks. The drink tent? Also we need pins because Anna wants a pin. We all get pins. For some reason they did not make magnets for the 25th ABHF, so I ended up with a couple magnets from 2014 lol!
We got drinks, we walked around, we messed with Jason a little bit because it had been a while since he had food and was getting funny. Robert and I had a blast (at least I did) walking around looking at classic cars and pointing out funny stuff inside the bourbon tents. I really enjoy hanging out with Robert. He is smart so he can have a conversation without turning it into an argument and his smartness can make him very witty when we are having fun. He also likes to explore drinking and making fancy drinks which comes in pretty handy. I never really had too much one-on-one time with him and this trip made me appreciate having him in the family a lot more. (Also sorry I haven’t gotten to this way earlier in life.) Anywho, Jason is a little tipsy and touching other people’s cars that are on show so we need to move. We get to more tents where it is acceptable to touch things. I spot this badass beer bottle opener that is made out of used Blanton barrels and probably the most expensive thing there other than the auction stuff! Jason scores it. It is seriously the coolest bottle opener I have ever seen and I am going to get one next year.
We need food so we start walking towards the cars. We stop in front of the band to talk about where we are going to eat and how we are going to get there. After some sing-alongs and talking we decide that we are going to take Anna’s car to Mamies (a place the girl from the barrel race told me about.) During the walk Anna saw some flower/vine things she liked and we ended up talking to the owner of the house and getting some seeds for what she called “Thomas Jefferson’s?” It was very nice of her. The walk to the car was fun in itself because we (well me and Jason and Robert a little bit) were slightly intoxicated. Also, the walk to the car took longer than walking to the restaurant would have so that was fun to point out to Anna 😉
I got a burger with an egg on it that was sad and I forget what everyone else got. We will go to a different place next year.
So we are done with the BHF and now it is time to drive to Louisville to our hotel to play board games and taste all the bourbons I brought.
Robert brought a game called Exploding Kittens. It was interesting. However, the conversations were more interesting. Ohio State football game in the background too.
Bed around 1 a.m. because we had to get up early enough to shower, eat, and drive to Buffalo Trace!!!!!
This next part is written in haste and very poorly at that. I apologize.
Got up. Went to Copper Kings distillery for Anna and Robert to get some brandy.
Buffalo Trace was awesome. The grounds are beautiful. The smell is amazing. They have all bottles of all bourbons. The tasting was great. They even have a vault they keep select antique bottles in! Super awesome. On the way home we stopped at a seafood joint my co-worker Jane told me about and parted at the diner.
I had a really awesome time with Anna, Robert and Jason.
We decided to make it a yearly tradition. Kentucky Bourbon Festival 2017 watch out we’re comin’ back!